There are over 4 million people working from home in the UK at the moment. Statistics also show just 6% of people work an actual 9-5 hour job now. Although reports from 2017 saying that half of the 2020 workforce will be remote workers are probably not going to come true, the fact is that remote and flexible working really is normal now, and technology is allowing many of us to work from home, avoiding the dreaded commute and stuffy office environment most of us would rather avoid.
The work environment is very important in determining how enjoyable work is. – Kumar Mangalam Birla
If you are lucky enough to work from home, is it possible that you could improve your working environment? Many people think that working from home means simply placing a laptop on their laps in the living room and, they can work as they did before without any adjustments. The problem is, there can be issues in working from home if you don’t consider things like ergonomics, noise levels, comfort and downtime.
Working from home can be working with a laptop on your lap sometimes, but there is so much more you can do to cultivate a nourishing environment to work and live in, for the benefit of your career and overall quality of life. Here are some top tips to help you invest in your home work environment today:
Downtime Has To Go Up On Your Priority List
The leading cause of stress in the UK is work, so by working from home, you have to push extra hard to get the downtime you need. One great way to do this is by giving yourself areas that are specifically designed to help you relax. A spa bathroom, for example, is a great place to go and relax your muscles, your mind and to generally unwind.
It really isn’t a practical place for a laptop so you almost have to let go of work when you are in there. Take a look at this spa bathroom tips YouTube video to get some ideas, and have a browse through these gorgeous BathDisc steel baths to inspire your downtime spa bathroom design.
Get In Nature
Being in nature is known to benefit our emotional and physical health. By working from home you have a great opportunity to combine outdoor time with working. Could you set up a workstation outside on the patio? Could you add a bigger window to your garden office? Could you create a comfortable workspace on your decking area? Even if you have a better view of the outside when you work, you will benefit, so do take advantage of this aspect of working from home.
In an office, your boss has to look into your health and safety, and the ergonomics of your environment. So, when working from home you have to do that but for yourself. You could end up with backache, carpal tunnel and other issues if you slouch on the couch working every day. The Mayo Clinic has a really useful YouTube video talking about how to create an ergonomic workstation, with tips you can apply to your home office setup easily.
Could Your Environment Be More Productive?
Is it worth investing some of the money you have saved from not having to commute every day into a more productive work environment? It might seem counterproductive, but actually, it makes sense because it will actually help you get more work done long-term. Maybe you need a better desk, more expensive internet connection, a soundproofed office: what would really help you develop your work at home? Think of it as investing in your career. As long as the things you change are well thought out, they certainly count as work expenses and your career is worth that kind of investment.
Is It Time To Make It Official?
Maybe you have spent a lot of time working in coffee shops or your lounge at home because you always wanted to see if working from home actually worked out. Maybe you are a startup, maybe you had a six months remote worker trial from your employer, maybe you were trying out self-employment at home yourself. If it has been six months to a year and everything is going well, maybe it is time to make it official? It could be time to invest in a dedicated work area. Here are some ideas to make a dedicated workspace at home:
- Convert the spare room
- Convert the garage
- Build a garden office
- Add a dedicated corner of the living room/dining room/ kitchen/ bedroom
If you really can’t have a dedicated workspace at home, perhaps it is time to look into shared workspaces near you. Having a dedicated workspace can psychologically make a difference in knowing your career is moving forward and that it is important. Investing in an at-home or shared office really will cement your career self-belief.
Invest In Your Work From Home Environment, Invest In Yourself
By investing in your home work environment you are investing in yourself and the amazing career you are cultivating. Do think about time away from the laptop as an important aspect of balancing your work/ life balance. Do think about how you can be as productive and healthy as possible whilst you work, and do consider how serious you are about your work from home career and if your home work situation reflects that. You’re in an amazing position, avoiding the daily commute many dread, benefitting from extra time with your family in a place that you love. Make the most of it by investing in your work environment in a way that suits your needs, your health, wellbeing and career can only benefit from the right adjustments.